Tag Archives: museum Termas-da-Azenha

Skeptical about the septic tank

“Yes … that is completely blocked …” I say somewhat delusively, “and I don’t really feel like messing around in it …”

It also doesn’t smell particularly attractive, and I see granules of corn floating around in the brownish water.

The neighbor also sees it: “Yes, we eat a lot of corn …” he says almost apologetically.

 

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He also is a little discouraged. Maybe they had no experience with a fossa – a septic tank. Neither did I, city girl that I am. I can still remember that we once washed turpentine and paint through the sink, and cleaned the brushes there. Hot tap on hard, and brush well. Food leftovers from the plates – stuffing it right into that drain!

No wonder we’re faced with climate change now. Nature no longer deals with our sh*t. And the septic tank as well not

In my ignorant innocence I once have tried to rinse a redundant and not-so-bright cauliflower through the toilet. In pieces, that’s a point for me, but it didn’t work anyway. The plumber put his hand in a large plastic bag and then fearlessly in the can, to surface with a few cauliflower florets and a bewildered expression on his face.

Now I have been the proud (!) owner of 3 fossas for years – without problems

Eh, that is, except for that one time, when someone flushed a diaper. How they managed to do that – nobody knows, but we were faced with a huge challenge. We had to break open a whole terrace to discover what & where it was exactly.

That was the time that I learned everything about PVC pipes, sewers, what to do and what not with a septic tank

Well, I’ll tell you: even though you’re still connected to a beauty of a city sewer, flushing a diaper through the toilet is never a good idea! And now that we are talking about it: rather throw the wilted cauliflower in the bio. (We didn’t have that yet!)

I have absolutely no desire to break my head again – and the whole thing open – to discover what went wrong. You must have done everything once in your life; this is ticked off. I quickly come up with Plan B – and call the contractor for how much a new fossa is.

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Although the municipality is in the process of installing sewers in this area, it has been going on for a year or two, and no idea when that finally comes true. Moreover: I am a fan of fossas *. It works well, if you just make sure you keep putting the good stuff into it.

Corn: excellent! Bleach: out of the question! You can throw in a forgotten kilo of chicken – the fossa bacteria feast on it

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After a week passing by and calling, they’re suddenly there. Surprises, that’s what contractors are fond of – but okay, this is a pleasant surprise. Sérgio drives the small excavator to the scene of the disaster and starts the good work.

I get a hunch of a decadent feeling. Kind of: I’m tired of this couch, so let’s buy another house. ON the other hand: it goes pretty quickly, and it is solved in 1 day!

Let me be decadent then …

* We may even continue to use our fossas for all eternity! Yessir, you have to have a permit for it, as with everything here in Portugal.

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We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a lots of fun things to do: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Google+, on Pinterest, Futurenet, and on monday on LinkedIn.

 

You like? Please like! And sharing is not forbidden ....

Card tournament: the cards are shuffled

You regularly see people play cards when you go to a café.

Now the café visit has decreased a lot, and I don’t get there too often, but if – then almost standard people are playing cards.

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credits to: jogosdorei.com.br

I did a lot of playing cards myself, 20 years ago. That was in the beginning, when we were refurbishing with a small team here. It seems as if it belongs together: remodeling and playing cards.

And you play cards with your children, of course you do that too – if you really can’t get out of it

Now I was not the best card player of all time, there was even someone who had a lot of fun after the game, said that he had played the trump card (!) 3 times in the same game, and I hadn’t even noticed. My partner also not, by the way.

I don’t belong to the group who’re counting, remembering everything that’s been played, and playing to win. I play more to chat, to have fun. I certainly don’t belong at this tournament, which is organized here in the neighborhood.

I suddenly saw it hanging when I came to the bakery: a card tournament

Nothing special, you might say, though: maybe in these digital times. There may be thousands of people playing online, but “live” it doesn’t happen as much as before.

No, nothing special, until I saw the prices.

Grand prize: a pig. Second: a ram. A sheep, piglet, goat, 2roosters, and so on

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I would love to win a pig! It’s all about living animals! The only things that are not alive, are the bacalhau and the whiskey. For the rest, you can win a whole farm there. I thought that was special!

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<< previous

We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a lots of fun things to do: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Google+, on Pinterest, Futurenet, and on monday on LinkedIn.

You like? Please like! And sharing is not forbidden ....

Pissed but happy

The day started this morning being very cold, improved itself quickly with a promising spring-like breeze, and gave the sun a hard push so that it quickly got warmer.

The weather is much too nice to work

Look, then you quickly realize where the advantages lie of entrepreneurship. You run risks, yes, but you can also decide for yourself when you do what, where and how. Especially that when on these beautiful winter sunny days is very pleasant.

I quickly get into a discussion with myself, but fortunately I always win it

“You have to …” I start, but yes, that is a bad start, because I don’t immediately buy it anymore. “Yesyes,” is the standard reaction, “Yesyes, don’t-worry-be-happy, I’ll do it!”

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“Okay,” I try again, and now I will not let myself get away with it anymore, so it is important to bring this as quickly as possible: “You have to do your vlog, so you have to go change into the new kimono in a cold room, but the sun is on that side so it’s not so bad and if you don’t, you’ll never sell even one, so I will be very grumpy if you don’t go immediately do that, and then we have the ads for the painting course that you have to arrange and the documentation of the land registry that you have to figure out, otherwise it will not be necessary anymore, and then we don’t even talk about the kimono-webshop… ”

 

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“Oh … please, don’t be so strict … the sun is shining so beautifully … after some days of wind and rain, and my book is so attractive … and I’m hungry …”

Deep sigh. I live under my own regime, and that is not easy!

But in any case, it is possible to bring these internal negotiations to a successful conclusion. “Okay, I’m going to make that video now, because that takes a while before it’s uploaded, but after that I’m going to have lunch in the sun for a long time with my book, and then I don’t want to hear you anymore, right?”

One advantage of aging: you agree with yourself faster

There I am, with a good feeling about the vlog that is being uploaded, and a well filled sandwich with tuna, mayonnaise and capers, and my good book. In the sun. Life isn’t that bad. I often have lunch late, like at 4 in the afternoon, and on such a day like today, a drink after lunch is a great idea.

There I am, with a good feeling, a good sandwich, a good book and a good drink

Only … what is that flying around my head all the time?

I’m going to see how the video is doing, and when I come back, a black speck floats in my glass. Ah gosh, that’s what it was! I didn’t know that fruit flies were also interested in drinks. I carefully remove the speck from the glass. She is still alive: “Wow, that was a narrow escape!” She shakes, and then starts walking in uncertain circles. It is clear that she has had enough. Completely submerged in whiskey – talking about Happy Hour!

She’s pissed!

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She shakes herself, walks a few passes, looks like a miniature drunk. She tries to fly, but smacks down again, on her face I imagine, and – just as if nothing’s wrong – start combing her hair. And rubbing her hands, like flies do, only fruit flies are more elegant. 

At least that is what I think now, now that we are sitting outside, and she is the only one in the area. Usually my reaction to those creatures is a bit different. A bit more panic-ey, a bit more aggressive, and a bit more definitive too. For them then.

I take the last sip, at least she can’t fall in there anymore. Then it’s enough. For me. And for her too …

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<< previous

We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a lots of fun things to do: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Google+, on Pinterest, Futurenet, and on monday on LinkedIn.

You like? Please like! And sharing is not forbidden ....

About painting, about stress, and about a painting course

When I read “painting”, I immediately get into a state of stress

Clearly one of my flaws. After years of being a homeowner and therefore responsible for all maintenance, I immediately think of peeling windows when I read: “painting”.

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Painting wooden windows. Which you have to paint almost every year. Because it’s nice if this portuguese heritage remains authentic.

I do not know why it’s called “painting”, actually, because that’s the very last piece of the whole package. That package consists mainly of scraping, sanding, feeling awful because you made a nasty streak, pain in muscles you didn’t even knew you had, replacing glass slats, and sweeping up all the mess.

And the nastiest thing to do is sticking that special tape on the glass. The longer I can shove that in the future, the better it is.

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Of course you can also respond very differently when you read “painting”

Then you think of beautiful big easels, workshops with large windows, brushes of real sable hair, women with elegant wide trousers with a brush in their nonchalant bun, a beautiful palette of bright colors …

That is exactly what we are going to do here: a painting course! In the nicest time of the year: May!

We organize a course in creative painting, for beginners and for advanced. This is a painting course in which you learn to mix colors, pinch your eyes in a certain way, receive guidance in setting up your work; in which you learn to sketch, which paper to use, and after which you go home with a lot of knowledge and a lot of your own work.

Such a course that makes you happy, because you not only learn a lot of things, but you also stay in a nice environment, with beautiful landscapes, birds singing early in the morning, the sun on your face in the break and with nice people around you.

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I would take such a painting course myself, but well, I have to cook for you guys …

I painted it a long time ago, and I remember how you can lose yourself in it. Wonderful!

It is a wonderful time of the year: 13 to 20 May, and if there are a lot of interested people, Wil and Louise will stay one week longer for the next group. The group will be maximum 12 participants. The first is already two-thirds full, and we have not really advertised yet.

That is of course due to those two ladies. A hundred years of experience together

Click through to this page, if you haven’t done so already, then you can read more about it. But the best thing is of course if you join!

(info@termas-da-azenha.com)

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<< previous

We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a lots of fun things to do: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Google+, on Pinterest, Futurenet, and on monday on LinkedIn.

You like? Please like! And sharing is not forbidden ....

Portuguese driving license all the way

My driving license and my passport had to be renewed. Strangely, they would expire on the same date: February 27th. The gods certainly have had a good time with that. I’d become wise, and started my bureaucratic journey already in November.

Piece of cake if you have to renew your passport abroad

Just go to the site of the Dutch embassy. There you’ll find everything you need to know. Forms, advice to copy everything, don’t forget your old ID, make an appointment online at the embassy. The address of the right photographer is also there. This man knows exactly how criminal you have to look to be accepted in the ID-system. The only thing you have to do is look up the train, count on your fingers to figure out what the best time is – ready! They even send it to you when it’s ready, for a small additional fee, by registered mail.

How different was that with the driving license!

I first went straight to the Fb page of the NCA – unparalleled – and there I got a flood of good advice. Thank you very much, fellow Dutchmen-in-foreign countries!

My premonition was therefore correct. I’m over 55 so I have to be medically approved. Reaction from my sister: “Yo, that’s crazy! You don’t have to do that here until you’re 75! ”

Oopsie! Seventy-five! Twenty years’ difference!

Well … when in Rome … You have no say in the matter

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So I made an appointment at the Centro Médico. Graça is a nice woman, we know each other since the vaccinations of the children (no, don’t get me started …) Besides the form to fill in, she gave me the advice to go to the optician in the Intermarché, because it was the fastest and the cheapest.

I glanced here and there at displays, when I was somewhere, and I was startled by the prices. For a very simple model they still want to have a few hundred euros. Typical. That is very different in the Netherlands, isn’t it? Yes, right, only a few messages made that crystal clear.

I would go to the Netherlands in November, so I made an appointment online with the Specsavers, because they happen to be around the corner from my sister’s

We spent a very pleasant morning in their store, the three of us, turned the whole eye wear shop upside down, left the staff with red cheeks of laughter behind and would be sent all glasses within a week. All glasses?

Well, I could put on a pair of sunglasses for a little bit more, and my sister was actually ready for a new one … and a pair of sunglasses’s always handy, and her daughter-in-law was orienting herself …

Mid-December I had two beautiful cases in the mail, and I could go to the friendly senhor to do the obligatory test. Fifteen minutes, done. Even completely free. (Since then I greet the friendly senhor kindly when I enter the Intermarché.)

Following my-driving-license-list, and came to the conclusion that I could take the risk

Of going to Coimbra, I mean, with my entire folder full of documents and copies thereof – in accordance with the advice of the NCA group. After an hour I sat across from a gray lady who reminded me of my former French teacher. Nonono, this was impossible, she couldn’t do anything for me, because I didn’t have a registration in Soure. “How long have you been living here?”, and opened her eyes widely from my answer. “But I was sent from Soure to Vinha da Rainha, because I had to register in the Freguesia”, I explain for the fourth time, “I do not know how this is arranged – when they say in Soure that I have to go to Vinha da Rainha, then I go, you see? ”

Unfortunately! No way without the right numbers. First arrange that registration, and with the whole collection of numbers complete, she could dive into the system

Okay, well … I’d probably dropped dead by surprise if it had just happened at once. In my opinion, officials are paid to avoid doing the things they’re hired to do.

I spent the rest of the afternoon in the monumental town hall of Soure, and eventually found a friendly lady behind a small door who knew exactly what it was about. I walked out the door happy with my newly-acquired number.

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The next day I went back to the IMT. After an hour of waiting, it was my turn. The French teacher recognized me, but this time I had drawn the number of her neighbor. I kindly said good-bye to the raised eyebrows of the French teacher, and started drawing papers from my folder. In addition, I said in a monotonous tone: “Here is my old driving license-and-a-copy, here is my identity-and-a-copy, here is my residence-and-a-copy …” and in doing so, sent down the papers on the table. At the residence-and-a-copy she picked up the paper, and said in exactly the same monotonous tone: “that-one-I-do-not-need …” on which we both had to laugh out loud.

Now there was no problem at all, this couldn’t go wrong anymore- driving license coming up!

Not even when her neighbor, a little bit pissed because of my quick return and my apparent success, bent over to see the entry in Soure: “Incomprehensible that didn’t happen before …” but unfortunately, she couldn’t change anything anymore. We were on the road to success!

My driving license was inevitably to be extended!

And we could laugh about it too. I even could laugh in the picture!

A miracle!

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<< previous

We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a lots of fun things to do: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Google+, on Pinterest, Futurenet, and on monday on LinkedIn.

You like? Please like! And sharing is not forbidden ....

Frozen in the front, baked in the back

Well … there we are, in the midst of our resolutions in the endless and slightly gloomy month of January. You’re a bit out of wack because you’ve lost your familiar routines, and maybe forever! (Projection, my dear?)

They call this month nowadays: Dry January

I suspect that day 1 of this month is the day when people drink and smoke the least. If I recall the sea of cigarette butts, empty bottles and tipsy people – you break your neck over all of that on New Year’s Eve in Figueira da Foz – I can’t imagine that there’s a very large group of people moaning: “Oooooo … I never drink again ….” and then fall back into bed again. To stay there as dead until the 3rd.

Silver lining: your resolutions have been realized for 3 days. Check!

That scene with the butts and the bottles dates from years ago, when I brought the boys and their friends to Figueira to celebrate New Year’s Eve there. Then I quickly drove back to the tranquility of the Termas, and in the morning they came home with the first train.

Remarkable month, dry January

I don’t know how it is with you, but if you don’t celebrate your birthday this month, there’s nothing festive to look forward to. I find the confrontation with the very factual reality always quite intense – January is clearly not my favorite month.

What are you nagging? – you’ll say – you’re sitting there in the sun! Day in, day out: sun! We get a 10 from Weatherforcast.co.uk.

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Yes, this is also luxury, complaining about abundance

It’s a bit difficult to rise (early), that is to say: early, I don’t even think about that. If it’s around 8:30, it’s early enough. A person also sleeps a lot more, in the winter, do not you?

First breakfast in the big room; it’s heated by the flowing water. It’s wonderful there. Coffee, a good book, warm room, then it quickly gets half past ten before the work begins. An advantage of being your own boss. Although I can also be very difficult, as a boss! The internal discussions are now and then intense: “If you don’t make sure you put a nice video on your Facebook today, then …”Yes, then what?” I ask myself defiantly, “you have to let me go?”

“You know exactly what I mean!” I say firmly to myself, and indeed: of course I know exactly what I mean. “Yeahyeah, I’m doing it already”, I say grumpy, knowing that I really can’t get out of this one.

In the morning, in the office you’re freezing. Everything is built to keep the heat out, so with the door and the curtains open it’s more or less ok. We don’t have heating there, according to good old Portuguese tradition. I’ve been in a few (new) stores yesterday, where the staff are all working packed up in coats and jumpers, shawls and gloves. It’s quite normal.

Yes, it is a sunny winter. Wonderful!

From half past twelve to four o’clock, certainly. If you’re in the sun, then. I’m having lunch behind the kitchen, and I have to undress half to be able to sit there. You’re being stewed there. It’s 25º.

When I have to go the front, to the other side of the kitchen, in the shadow, because people come over who want to have information about the water or the rooms, they’re standing in their thick coats with fur collars, pointing to my bare feet, “Olhe! A senhora não é portuguesa, pois não? ” (The senhora is not portuguese, are you?)

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I feel the cold creeping into my feet, because the temperature difference is about 20 degrees. In 20 steps you’re going from deep freeze to furnace. It seems to be minus 30 here!

I tell the people what they want to know, send them on their way with a card, and quickly get back to my furnace, intend to store that wonderful warmth deep in my bones to have power for a few hours. Then she’s gone again, my good friend the sun.

See you tomorrow, dear friend! You make our nights siberian, but our days a lot easier by carrying us through the icey plane of good intentions and the month of dry January!

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<< previous

We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a lots of fun things to do: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Google+, on Pinterest, Futurenet, and on monday on LinkedIn.

You like? Please like! And sharing is not forbidden ....

Last chance of a New Year with capitals

Yeahyeah, IknowIknow- it’s over, look who decided to say something … Hello, it’s already January 6, according to the contemporainean etiquette, from this day on you may not wish anyone anymore a happy New Year with capital letters … can we be done with it?

Sorry! No. On the last day of December some interesting thoughts fell upon me. Not only that I had to go to the bakery, because of course the next day there there would be absolutely nothing open at all, not even the most gruesome indifferent supermarket chain, but something else came to mind.

May I still pass them to you?

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I come from a warm family, the cornerstone of society, well, you may say that I have crawled from under that corner stone. Long ago. That was in the days when nobody was having a divorce, all the children always said “Yes sir!” and “Yes ma’am!”, and on New Year’s Eve there were Oliebollen”.

With or without apple – deep fried fat dough with raisins and a crust

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You already understand: I’m not a fan. Never been. But that’s not what this is about.

At that time, on New Year’s Eve you looked back … hours, days, months, years … flying by like a shadow.

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My parents were Christians, also not unusual at that time. De-church-ification was not yet in the dictionary. Now it was a good God they believed in, so that makes a difference. It was not that revengeful creep that you often encounter. That God, who – because he loves you so much – gives you all kinds of horrible tests, and if you don’t watch out, he’ll send you to hell, because you have not made the right decisions.

Speaking of freedom of expression!

I suspect that this God is a triplet together with Allah and Jehovah. All three quite an unstable temperament, and whether they have a good character … well, this is going all too far for a blog from a holiday home rental village, so let’s skip this and go on about what I really wanted to write.

Previously, you looked back at how you had been that year, how you had behaved (emphasis on the falling short of it), how it had gone (not so good), and how you could improve yourself. On that basis you made tough decisions. That was serious business, and the good God was also involved. He sat with tears in his eyes in heaven about your misbehavior, but waited – good-natured as he is – for you to come to understand.

The difference with previously and now is that we’re only looking ahead

What are we going to cause in the new year?

That whole retrospective moment is no longer there. And the good God can wait for all eternity, because we love ourselves nowadays, we think we’re worth it, we’re assertive down to our toes, and we no longer dwell on “previously”.

The future, that’s what it’s about.

We think of great things ahead for us

We will loose .. kilos (do you see there are 2 dots?), we will be eating healthier, we will exercise (these things come together mostly), and the entrepreneurs among us work more focused. (There’s much more, but of course I am particularly interested in the latter.)

We are going to get a turnover of ….. comma dash euros (do you see that there are five dots?)

I am already tired, only by thinking of it. Sure, I ‘d love a turnover of five dots, but you have to do so much for that! This all comes at the expense of nice things – like chatting with guests, making mosaics and gazing stupidly at nothing in particular when you drink your first morning coffee.

But I can’t help it, I mean: those good intentions. New year, new start, new plans, new energy, a new sound. It is so tempting!

I even – as a good old oldfashioned portuguese habit – ate 12 raisins at the strike of 12. Every strike one raisin. Not easy, I can tell you. And I still am not a fan.

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What are your new plans, new starts, sounds, what makes your heart beat faster about your plans for the future? I’m curious!

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We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a lots of fun things to do: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Google+, on Pinterest, Futurenet, and on monday on LinkedIn.

You like? Please like! And sharing is not forbidden ....

Hiding from father Christmas

No, it was not like we ducked down, stressed by the sound of a car. It wasn’t that bad, with that hiding-for-father-Christmas. It was not the case that the whole village was crowded. There were a few here and there, a few couples and a family, and a couple of friends.

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By the way, even if you are in hiding, there is no escape. The church bell sounds every hour with the well-known: “Silent night, holy night”.

Now you can see (or hear) that as authentic, idyllic and rural

‘The years before it was “Jingle Bells”. Every hour, a bit clumsy, as if there was a child who was still learning to play the chimes. Ping-ping-ping, ping-ping-ping …. blèblèblèblèblèblè … and that starts mid-November, and continues until mid-March. Then you have value for money, because those tapes for the clock tower are on the budget of the ever-shrinking church. Now, there are only two churches left that strike every half hour and hour.

Silent Night is a lot less intrusive and intrusive, if you then necessarily have to replace the classic Avé Maria because of the festivities

Furthermore, it’s not too bad. If you don’t go to the shops or to the city, you can almost ignore Christmas here in the country. Although I like to go to the pastelaria on the days before Christmas or to one of the small family supermarkets in the neighbourhood, to be able to say goodbye to everyone: “Bom Natal à todos!” A group of coffee drinkers even stopped with their conversation, and warmly yelled back a “Bom Natal”. Total strangers. Nice, isn’t it?.

On Christmas Eve we sit outside at a large campfire, with a good glass and a nice conversation

From the corner of my eye I see small silhouettes approaching. “Hey Elijah!” I greet the first silhouette, “everything gut mit ihnen?” There comes Malou too, and a bit behind, because she has to carry the little one who’s not so little anymore, there’s Ruth. “Olá boa noite, fröhliche Weihnachten! How are you?

They are going to make their traditional Christmas walk while daddy Jens is cooking, and then: “… dürfen wir unsere Geschenke auspacken!” Malou dances up and down, while Elijah starts the walk – the sooner you go, the sooner you’ll get back. He has the idea that Santa might have left some Lego behind ….

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They think it’s a nice fire. Totally agree, made by Martin who, as a real outdoor man, can even make such a beautiful sea of flames from wet wood. He was still sitting in the trees this afternoon, chopping off the fresh unwanted branches, and tonight they feed the fire. This is, I believe, a win-win-win-win: as little Christmas atmosphere with kitsch lights as possible (and no heavy meals untill you can’t move anymore), no mandatory family dinners, nice company, cleaning up the garden-mess and a great bonfire.

Christina, another guest, also stops by to have a chat, and brings a bunch of salsa. That’ll go in the soup tomorrow.

Best Christmas ever! Completely fine together with all of those in hiding.

How was it with you? Did you have a good time?

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<< previous

We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a lots of fun things to do: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Google+, on Pinterest, Futurenet, and on monday on LinkedIn.

You like? Please like! And sharing is not forbidden ....

A thief and a song (or two)

I’m so happy with all that space around me …

… especially on a Saturday afternoon, you get the feeling that the whole world is free and open, and come on, am I a workaholic or what? Of course there is still this and that, and even more, but can a person sit evenly as well?

I have a beautiful book.

I am a reader, so dear reader, if you are always just fiddling with your phone – get out of here!

A Facebook friend sent a nice piece of music. It is an Fb-friend with a very good marriage, so the music is also open to different interpretations (“I don’t live where I was born”).

And that’s where I am. Tears in my eyes, and a heart that almost bursts of emotion.

A nice book.

And a nice music.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph! *

* If you read the book, you’ll understand this expression better. Which book?

“The book thief”, by Markus Zusak.

Would you like another bonus? Here’s another beautiful one.

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<< previous

We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a lots of fun things to do: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Google+, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.

You like? Please like! And sharing is not forbidden ....

Nice plan: 2019 will be the “Year of the Butterfly”

Here you see the result of a few months work. It looks like a small wall, but all in all it takes a little while. Now, of course, we are not talking about 24/7.

This project started in the early days of the summer. In fact, this year is already “The year of the Butterfly”

A Russian girl gave the kickoff. She was here with her little sister, uncle, mother, grandmother and big dog for about a month and a half. She wanted to learn mosaics, and since I was working on another project called “The Little Mermaid” – she could easily participate.

She had an eye for it, more than her little sister. The latter was actually too young for that (4 is a bit young), and perhaps too impatient and too quickly distracted. No problem, Lisa went on.

She made the first butterfly, which was the pink one on the left

blog_year-of-the-butterfly

Next, it was my sister’s turn. Exept for a few butterflies, they made some flowers as well. And the caterpillar.

I expected that summer guests would like to join in, but even though I have given many mosaic workshops, everyone would rather make something to take home.

French Nathalie was the only one who really enjoyed making a butterfly, and did so with great dedication. In one day she had made a large one out of very small pieces. Chapeau!

After the summer, my mosaic-buddy Astrid would come by, and volunteer Gerda had also indicated that she’d already done little things, and couldn’t wait to do something bigger.

That’s of course the big advantage of the Termas: you can go big. Walls enough.

That’s something completely different than a bowl or a bird house.

That has its own challenges, don’t be mistaken! Working small is quite difficult, but I can imagine that at a certain point you might be fed up with it, that fiddle-die-doo on the square centimeter. Anyway, I am someone of the big gesture …

Front and back: check, side: check, top: check. A wall has so many sides …

blog_the-year-of-the-butterfly

There was a guest who would like to participate with the Butterfly-Wall: Lucille. Also French, cooked great, nice bunch of guests, and besides nice memories of tasty meals she also left a beautiful palpable butterfly.

Astrid, daughter Isabelle and Gerda added a few more …

… and when they were gone, it started to rain. This means that it is not going to be finished soon … until the sun showed itself again. I grabbed myself by the hair, made some glue, took the box with white pieces and the mosaic pliars, and started working. Not too bad: in the morning sun.

Simply sticking pieces of white is just work, no fun

Finishing a mosaic is not always fun. Then the big gesture is quite a disadvantage; you would prefer to be fiddle-die-doo-ing on the square centimeter. Anyway, matter of discipline.

It’s finished! Wonderful! Decoy butterflies on the wall, now butterflies in the garden

That will take some time, because they are now naturally too cold. But! Hopefully all the flowers will come up again, not too long, because in March it is already spring.

In Termas-da-Azenha, 2019 becomes the “Year of the Butterfly”.

(Thanks to all people mentioned above who participated in this lovely project!)

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<< previous

We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a lots of fun things to do: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Google+, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.

You like? Please like! And sharing is not forbidden ....
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